City Council Approves Budget with $50M in Affordable Housing Bonds

Crown-Logo-GreenThe Charlotte City Council this week approved a budget for FY 2018/2019 that includes an historic investment in Affordable Housing bonds — assuming voters approve them in a November referendum.

The $50 million in Affordable Housing Bonds are part of a $223 million bond package that also includes $118 million for streets and sidewalks, and $55 million for neighborhood improvements. Voters will be asked to approve the bonds on November 6th, and REBIC will partner with the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association and the Charlotte Chamber to advocate for their passage through a wide-ranging community campaign.

The budget approved by Council also includes the following:

 

  • Provides $70.3 million for housing programs, including an increase in the Housing Trust Fund bonds to $50.0 million in FY 2019. Charlotte voters will have to approve this investment when they go the polls in November.
  • Implements sweeping changes in the development plan review process, to address issues raised by REBIC and other industry groups over the past year.
  • Creates a ‘One Stop Shop’ in the lobby of the Government Center, where developers can access and meet with all relevant staff in a single location.
  • Transfers 22 staff positions from the Department of Engineering and Property Management to the Department of Planning, which will be re-branded the Department of Planning, Design, and Development.
  • Creates a new Enhanced Review pilot program for nearly all development review types, with reviews ranging from $1,000 for  plat revisions to $30,000 for expedited plan review on major development projects.
  • Adds 12 new positions in Planning to support the enhancements in planning and land development permitting
  • Aside from a 5 – 15% increase in rezoning fees (due to a planned step-down in cost-allocation subsidy), no new user fees for planning or land development.
  • Includes $500,000 for an Aging in Place pilot program. This program helps support low-income, senior homeowners who want to continue to live in their home and mitigate potential impacts of the new 2019 property valuation.
  • An additional $2.7 million for the ‘A Way Home’ rental assistance program.
  • Includes a significant increase in the starting pay for CMPD officers, raising the minimum salary for a recruit to $46,352.
  • Additional funding of $22.5 million is proposed for five existing General CIP projects in FY 2019, including the North I-85 Bridge and McKee/Providence Road Intersection. In FY 2021, an additional $2.5 million is proposed for the Idlewild and Monroe Road Intersection project.
  • Funding for the Sidewalk and Pedestrian Safety program is doubled from the originally planned $15.0 million in FY 2019 to $30.0 million
  • Accelerates funding of $46.1 million to complete all six planned police stations.

The budget also includes a one-cent tax increase, which will cost the owner of a $250,000 home roughly $25 more a year in property taxes. It also includes increased water and sewer fees averaging $1.89 per month for a typical residential customer. The property tax increase led both Republican council members, Ed Driggs and Tariq Bokhari, to register the only NO votes on the budget.

 

 

 

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